Yes, it’s here! Out On A Limb is now available on Smashwords and Kindle. It’ll take a week or two until it shows up on Sony, Apple iBooks, Diesel, and Kobo, etc. Two of the characters, Squirt and Big Bill, from Ransom are back. This time they take on Egghead, the evil landlord, while trying to build a tree house in the yard while risking eviction. They have to be very clever and stealthy. If things go well they may even have a shot at sneaking into Egghead’s dirt floor garage and see what his midnight digging is all about. For .99cents this is the best deal around.
Let’s face it, there are readers who will abandon your story. There’s little worse than a boring ending to a chapter. Give readers a reason to hang in there with you, to turn the page. A recent review of mine on Gerry’s War proved I’d kept at least one reader’s interest:
“This book was really a great Sequel to Old Flames. I stayed up till 3 am finishing it and can’t wait for the next in the series. The characters feel real and they act like normal people.”
I did my job to keep the pages turning. I think my best hook ever is in my upcoming firefighter story Too Late For Spring(first two pages are posted on this site):
*The men shouted and shoved back chairs as they shot to their feet to block me. George surprised me by positioning himself in a fighting stance, albiet a wavering one. As I jostled through the men, his arm moved swiftly to the counter.
He turned in a flash; a knife from the butcher block gripped in his hand.*
Yeah, killer hook. Actually, this eBook will have some of my best hooks, only because it’s my most violent.
One from my juvenile chapter book Archie’s Gold:
*When I turned to look right I caught a glimpse of something like a curtain dropping at the corner of my eye, almost behind me.
My arm blazed with pain as if a steel vise clamped it.*
It’s not difficult to write a hook if you arrange things, just don’t give anything away.
If your interest is in juvenile/middle grade adventures I’ll be promoting a new release Out On A Limb in a few weeks. Ransom, with the same characters, will be 99 cents. My other juvies online will also be discounted. All I’m waiting for is the cover art from my son Joel.
Anne Enright puts it, ‘Only bad writers think that their work is really good.’
A good tip to keep your story on track is doing a re-read. After your terribly mangled first draft divide your story up into clumps of chapters. Print out each section. Why print? I believe you can edit more comfortably by settling back in a chair and using a red pen for corrections. Your story does look better on paper. Keep track of each chapter and look for suspense, interest, exposition, etc. In short summarize. Your story should appear like a ‘staircase’ graph, that is slowly going up the risers (suspense, adventure) and flattening out to give readers a breather (tread). A peak/valley graph works well with high points being the suspense/adventure/ excitement and the valleys occur developing the story or moving it along. This can develop your pace and flow. Many detective stories do this. As the evidence comes in they have to analyze it, theorize, and plan their next moves. My firefighter mystery has the fire captain and arson investigator doing this.
Re-reading also reinforces many things in your mind such as chronological order, names, and titles. It also keeps track of things you may have overlooked or forgotten in your hasty 1st draft: I thought they were there in the day, was it a blue car? did she have on a necklace?
You really should do this because you will find stuff. You don’t want readers tripping over speed bumps.
Best-selling novelist Michael Crichton (The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park) said,”Books are not written, they’re re-written.”